Have you recently found some Royal Mail first or second-class stamps with Queen Elizabeth II’s head on?

If so, you might wonder if you can still use them to post your letters or parcels at the Post Office.

It comes as in April this year, Royal Mail introduced stamps with the portrait of King Charles III instead of the late Queen.

With this in mind, let’s find out if you can still use stamps with the Queen's head on.

Can you still use Royal Mail stamps with Queen Elizabeth II head on?

Whether you can still use first and second-class Royal Mail stamps with Queen Elizabeth II’s head on depends on one main factor.

If the stamp has a barcode on it, you can still use it to send post.

However, if the stamp with the Queen’s head on doesn’t have a barcode on it, it can no longer be used for postage.

This follows the introduction of a six-month grace period last year from the initial January 31 deadline in 2023.

Following the release of the King's stamps in April, the Royal Mail website comments: "To minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch, existing stocks of definitive stamps that feature Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be distributed and issued as planned and will remain valid for use in line with our recent transition to barcodes on definitive stamps."

Can you exchange Queen's head stamps?

If you do have stamps with the Queen's head on without a barcode, you can exchange them – this means they won’t go to waste.

How to Get Your Old Coins Valued

To do this, you can use Royal Mail’s Swap Out scheme.

Those wanting to swap their non-barcoded stamps must:

  • Pick up or print out a Swap Out form
  • Complete your form and include your stamps
  • Send free of charge to “Freepost SWAP OUT”

Find out how to get your form either online or by post here.

The Royal Mail website explains: “If you have a printer, you can swap out up to £200 worth of non-barcoded stamps by printing out and completing this Stamp Swap Out PDF. You can send this back to us free of charge, along with your stamps, by writing on the envelope Freepost SWAP OUT. No other address details or postcode are needed.”

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There are also forms available for those who want to swap more than £200 worth of non-barcoded stamps.

Additionally, Royal Mail says if you don’t have access to a printer, you can request a stamp Swap Out form to be posted to you by completing a seperate form online.

It adds: “You can also pick up a 'Swap Out' form from your local Post Office along with a free post envelope – but the Post Office won’t be able to actually swap your stamps for barcoded ones.”